By Wendy Turner, Library Youth Services Supervisor
The Youth Services department began the summer with a big kick-off celebration at both libraries promoting the 2012 Summer Reading Program (SRP). Along with registering for the SRP, the celebration included fun activities for the kids like face painting, a fishing booth and free balloons which were donated by Bob Tomes Ford.
The mascot from the Frisco Tornadoes Hockey Team, “Ike the Polar Bear”, visited with the kids and the Friends of the Library handed out their membership information. This year’s Summer Reading Program was very successful. In total we handed out 1,274 logs to preschoolers, 1,828 logs to school-age children and 662 logs to teens totaling 3,764 logs for all three programs.
All participants received a variety of rewards including a circus ticket, hockey ticket, a free book of their choice, and food coupons thanks to the many generous donations by Chick-fil-A, Sonic, Palio’s Pizza and Scotty P’s Hamburgers.
We had something for everyone when it came to our summer programs.
The Youth Services team created a new program called Music and Movement for the preschool crowd. We held the program at Hall on Monday mornings and at JJGL on Thursday mornings. The program was full of music, singing, and dancing and each week a different instrument or manipulative was used. The children used manipulatives such as sticks, bells, shakers, scarves, or ribbons. The program was very popular and after much discussion the team decided to limit the number of children to 36 per program for the safety and quality of the program. Tickets were handed out on a first come first serve basis.
The school age children were treated to four different performers courtesy of the Friends of the Library organization. Programming began with Gregg the Balloon Guy. He performed a hilarious magic show with top-notch balloon twisting for 161 kids.
Next, a musical program offering funny music with catchy lyrics that kept 138 kids humming along was presented by Rockin’ with Rhett. Third, Professor Brainius gave an entertaining science show to 151 kids using experiments, music, and technology. Lastly, Magician Brett Roberts used humor, magic, puppetry and storytelling to entertain and encourage 209 kids to read and learn.
As a finale, 191 parents and children of all ages were able to attend a special Zooniversity program which brought several nocturnal animals for the children to see and learn about to both library locations. Zooniversity is a wildlife education organization that travels to different locations and introduces children to the fascinating world of animals. This wonderful program was also sponsored by an individual donor.
This year’s teen programs were very well attended. We began with an Angry Bird program where 54 teens made their own angry bird out of Styrofoam and yarn then they attempted to knock down pigs made of yarn. The teens had a great time playing this computer game in a life size arena.
The second program was FBI agent, Don MacPherson who spoke to 49 teens about how to become an agent, told interesting stories, and answered questions. Our third program was a craft program where 30 teens each created an altered book. This program had the teens take an old discarded book or graphic novel and change it into art. Our final program was a presentation by David Slick a holder of a Guinness World Record in juggling. He demonstrated how to juggle different types of items plus 31 teens each learned how to juggle scarves.
The YS team has welcomed two new part-time staff members, Nicole Matthews and Tatiana Goodman, in late August. They replaced Gail Pavolonis who had been with the department for over 10 years. Also Anthony Perez will now be based at JJGL to give a YS presence at that location. With all the new and wonderful changes, the YS team is ready to begin our Fall programming.
Fall programming will begin on Monday, September 10th and we have lots of fun programs planned. Due to the wonderful response we received from the Music and Movement program this summer, we are adding it to the fall programming schedule along with storytimes. The preschoolers will be able to attend one morning of storytimes and one morning of music and movement at each library location.
The school age program for the fall is “Animal Kingdoms”. This program will be held once a month at each library and will concentrate on the animals that live in different environments.
We will be starting with the Oceans in September, Arctic Tundra in October, the Rain Forest in November and finishing up with Deserts in December.
There will be a new teen program joining the existing craft program and book club this fall. The new program is called Music Exchange and the teens will discuss the history of music, the different types of music, create a simple musical instrument and enjoy music themed activities. Each of the teen programs is held once a month on Thursday afternoons at JJGL.
The teen advisory group has grown to six members. They have created and designed the display promoting the fall teen programs located in the south display case. They will be writing book reviews which will be displayed in the teen areas of both libraries and they are busy looking for opportunities to work on a larger project to promote the library to teens.
I am proud of the Youth Services Team’s effort and work to provide our community with such a successful summer reading program. I look forward to the Fall and watching my new staff grow, and existing staff stretch, to continue to provide new and exciting programs for youth of all ages.